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Database quick guides: PatentInspiration

Quick references of the most central databases in the University of Oulu



Finding variations of a word


Wildcard characters
at the end of a word

replaces zero or any number of characters

Metal* retrieves metal, metals, metallic, metallurgy, metallurgical...

Word stemming is in use. metallic retrieves metallic, metal, metals etc.
Phrases Phrase in quotation marks
- wildcards can be used
"waste water"
"waste water*"
Operators Boolean operators

condition AND monitoring

condition monitoring
retrieves condition AND monitoring

Proximity operators

"search terms"~n

The terms must appear within a specified number of terms (n-1). Either word may appear first.


nano NEAR/3 cellulose
"nano cellulose"~3

There can be 0..2 words between the words nano and cellulose.

Order of precedence rules

Use parentheses to override operator precedence.
The expression inside the parentheses is executed first.


Without parentheses OR operator is executed before NEAR and AND operator.


(condition AND monitor*) OR (failure AND detect*)  


 condition monitor* OR failure detect*  retrieves
condition AND monitor* OR failure AND detect*
-> Note! According to operator precedence OR is executed first.

Classification searches

Patent classification:
CPC Cooperative Patent Classification

Advanced Search:
Enter the classification code into the search box and choose the field Code,
or search for the classification from CPC lookup link.

B66B5/00* retrieves also subclasses and subgroups.




Basic search finds all fields including full texts if available (WO, EP, US, CA..).

Use Edit filter to edit or continue the search.

Use Advanced Search for more detailed searching: Keyword (Title, Abstract, Claims, Description), Applicant, Inventor, Code, Number.

E.g. filtering for finnish inventors:
Search box: FI and Field: Inventor (-> Add filter)

E.g. filtering for US patents and US applications:
Search box: US* and Field: Number (-> Add filter)

Use Analyze patents to have some basic analyses e.g. activity, applicant vs time, codes vs time, coutry etc. free of charge. PRO marked analyses are fee based.